Everyone needs good neighbours this weather

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Shovel-wielding Larbert householders were highlighted on national television news last night as a prime example of a community working together to help vulnerable people.

It was just the most-publicised local example of people stepping in spontaneously to help their neighbours - Bo’ness and Blackness councillor Ann Ritchie took to social media to praise the neighbourly efforts of people in her area.

Meanwhile reader Craig McCallion contacted the Falkirk Herald to praise Cloybank businessman John Penman, who he says “deserves all the recognition he gets”.

He said: “He helped the residents of Banknock and Longcroft by using his JCB to clear all roads of heavy snow yesterday and today, and helped local residents to get out of otherwise impassable streets and roads.

“The man does everything for the local community - also raises money for several charities and never gets any recognition”.

Reader Alan Patrick contacted us to say: “When I noticed my elderly neighbour out shovelling his drive way this morning I grabbed my snow shovel and cracked on myself, aiding where I could.

“To my delight one by one my neighbours followed suit - even the little ones dug in.

“McGowan road and McDonald Crescent sit within a small private estate in Falkirk (see pictures) that comfortably had three feet of snow covering the road leading to Etna road, the main road.

”The possibility of getting our cars out was bleak - but after some good old fashioned elbow grease and the occasional moan about paying council tax the road was cleared.

“I feel community spirit and helping others should be displayed when possible”.

With services gradually starting to recover Transport Scotland is working to fully restore national travel networks, but delays and disruption will continue throughout this weekend.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney is urging members of the public to consider what help they can offer. From helping clear local pavements and footpaths, to farmers assisting with keeping rural roadways open, or 4x4 owners offering neighbours a lift.

He said: “Throughout the country we are hearing many examples of people going above and beyond the call of duty, showing exemplary community spirit to help their local community deal with the extreme snowy conditions.

“If you have capacity to help neighbours, or are the owner of large vehicles that could assist the clearance work on your local road, I would encourage you to volunteer and look out for vulnerable people.

“Shop deliveries in some local areas may be affected in the short term, so I would also ask that people are patient and sensible when purchasing food or fuel, as the situation gradually returns to normal.

“While the warning alert has reduced to yellow, cold conditions and snow are expected to continue for the next few days so please exercise caution, carefully prepare and avoid unnecessary journeys.”